Jammin’ Sweet Dreams

As some of you know, I am musical. (Meaning I can play the keyboard and the electric guitar.) Anyway, one of our Year 10s, asked me to jam with the Year 10 Boy Band again. (A couple of months back, I had played Rocking All Over The World with them)

So we ended up playing “Sweet Dreams”, which is the ending on the Sega Mega Drive game: Sonic 2. (The year 10s had gone to see the new Sonic The Hedgehog Movie last night and decided to do their own take on the Sonic 2 ending.)

For those of you who have never played Sonic 2, here is the lowdown…

Sonic has chased Dr Robotnick through 10 zones and has finally caught up with the mad scientist, ab aboard his space station, called the Death Egg. (Orbiting the Planet Mobius) It looks like the Doctor finally is trapped and has run out of options. Yeah right! Sonic  has a final battle ahead,  which is in 2 phases.

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Silver Sonic – Death Egg Zone Final Boss (Phase 1)

First Sonic must defeat Silver Sonic (Dr Robotnick’s robotic clone of Sonic) Silver Sonic has razor blade spikes , which can instantly cause Sonic to loose a life if he touches them. Silver Sonic can also throw metal spikes, which can be fatal, if Sonic hits them.

Once Silver Sonic is destroyed in a puff of smoke, Sonic must chase the mad Doctor across his Space Station, for the final showdown in the Cargo Bay.

The Doctor uses his final weapon, the Egg Emperor. The Egg Emperor is a robot that looks like Robotnick. It has a  pair of  detachable arms, (with spikes) which Robotnick fires at Sonic. Also, at the rear, the Doctor can fire land mines. He also has a homing beacon, which can track sonic and flatten him! (It’s the final battle, where there is everything to play for. It’s do it or die!)

The only one way to destroy the Egg Emperor, is to dodge the flying arms and the homing beacon and hit the front panel of the machine.  After 12 hits, the machine will explode, while the  Death Egg itself,  begins to fall apart. Sonic runs for the escape hatch, just as the Death Egg explodes. Meanwhile Dr Robotnick has got away in his “Egg O’ Matic” and has returned to the Planet Mobius, defeated at last! (hooray!!!!!)

 

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The Egg Emperor – The Final Boss (Phase 2) battle on Sonic 2,

On the ground, Tails sees the explosion, but where is Sonic? Tails races for the Tornado and takes off, to find Sonic. Meanwhile, Sonic  falls down  to the Planet Mobius, where he changes to Super Sonic and flies near the Tornado. (if you got all the Chaos Emeralds) If you did not get all  7 Chaos Emeralds, Sonic will land on the wings of Tails plane.

 

So here is our version, with me playing lead electric guitar and having fun doing it! (This version starts quite slow and then speeds up towards the end.  Recorded via the PC in the Band Room and exported via Adobe Audition, (Which the kids did for me) this is Sweet Dreams, performed by myself and 4 Year 10 boys.

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The evil and Mad Dr, Ivo Robotnic, with his “dumb bots” Grounder and Scratch.

By the way, did you know the original song “Sweet Dreams” has lyrics to it? Also, did you know that originally, Tails was supposed to be a girl? Here is the link to the original track used in the game,  and Sweet Dreams, with lyrics. (It was supposed to be a love song, as Sonic was supposed to be in love with the female Tails!) Sweet Dreams was also re-released in 2006 and featured Akon. Click here to listen to that version.

Below is a video of the Boss Battles in Sonic 2, from Emerald Hill to Death Egg.

  • Emerald Hill Zone: Egg Drill Mk1
  • Chemical Plant Zone: Egg Dropper
  • Casino Night Zone: Egg Tazer
  • Hill Top Zone: Egg Blaster
  • Mystic Caves Zone: Egg Drill Mk2
  • Hidden  Palace Zone: Egg Tuba (Needs to be unlocked by activating Level Select)
  • Oil Ocean Zone: Egg Submarine
  • Metropolis Zone: Egg Sphere
  • Sky Chase Zone: No Boss
  • Winged Fortress Zone: Egg Laser
  • Death Egg: Silver Sonic
  • Death Egg: Egg Emperor (Final Boss Battle)

Cleaning Colour Coding

In a school or professional environment, it is important that we use the correct colour coded equipment when cleaning. This helps to stop cross contamination of germs and pathogens from getting to other surfaces in other parts of the building. This isn’t currently law, but is common practice in most workplaces.

So roll on the many colours:

Red Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Red coloured equipment must only be used in bathrooms, (Including bathtubs,  taps, shower fixtures, Shower curtains, taps, sinks plugholes, pipes, mirrors, tiles, window sills, window frames, door handles, locks, and floor)  toilets, (Including the inside and outside of the bowl, cistern, chain, pipes, seats, basins, window frames, window sills, sink, taps and pipework, mirrors, tiles and the floor. Also red mops can be used in changing rooms too. )

Yellow Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Yellow coloured equipment must be only used in areas of isolation. We only use those in single rooms in Sick Bay or in the event that Sick Bay has a Nova Virus outbreak. (This doesn’t happen often.

Green Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Green coloured equipment must be only used in a kitchen on all surfaces.

White Dish Cloths with a Red Trim: x These cloths must only be used for washing up in a kitchen environment.

Yellow Dusters with a Red Trim: Dusters can be used universally, but must not be used in a kitchen \ bathroom \ toilet or isolation areas.

We also use colored Tabards too:

Red: Toilets \ Bathrooms

Blue: General Purpose

Yellow: Sick Bay Ward Areas \ Isolation Areas

Green: Kitchens

These guidelines are not law, (Apart from the use of green equipment being used in kitchens. ) but are recommended by the British Institute of Cleaning Science. These guidelines apply to cleaning cloths, mops, buckets, brushes, gloves (unless the gloves are disposable) and sponges. You will also need to change your PPE, (Personal Protective equipment) every time you switch areas. (IE: if you go from a bathroom to a general low risk area, such as a office.) This helps to reduce cross contamination.

So that’s Sam’s guide to cleaning colour coding for cleaning. 🙂

Dealing with Body Fluids

I have just come back from dealing with someone on Sick Bay, who had vomited all over the floor. Our school policy is to bleep Domestic Services during the day (7am – 3pm every day) or page me out of hours on a body fluid spill. So being that it was 11pm that this happened, I got paged to come to Sick Bay  to clear it up.  (I only live round the corner from school.)

So, I attended and needed the following kit:

  • Body Fluids Kit (We have one on each unit, including Sick Bay)
  • Blue Mop Bucket and a Blue Mop
  • 2 Bleach Tablets dissolved in 5L of water
  • Blue Paper Roll
  • Disposable Apron
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Wet Floor Sign

Once, I had everything I needed and I had the correct PPE; (Personal Protective Equipment) I put up a yellow “Wet Floor Sign and  sprinkled the absorbent powder onto the vomit. Using the paper roll, I slowly  scooped it up. and then used the spills kit hazardous waste bag to dump the blue roll and the vomit. Then using a socket mop and bucket, I washed the area of floor with diluted bleach solution, leaving the wet floor sign in place; until the floor has dried. The mop head went into the red infected laundry bag in the sluice room and will be taken down to the laundry, by the Unit Housekeeper in the morning.

Remember: When dealing with any body fluid, (regardless if it is urine, vomit, blood, faces or semen) you must wear PPE. It is safety first. – Wear disposable \ thick rubber gloves, an  apron and goggles. (when working with chemicals) You must also remember to stick to the correct colour coding of equipment. Please read this post, to find our  more information about colour coding when cleaning.

Great (No Fantastic) News!

Yes, I am still alive for those of you who are wondering. I have just been very very busy at school and been knackered most nights, so I apologize for the lack of posts.

Earlier today, Toby’s Social Worker went to see him at school with the news that they may have found him a family willing to adopt him. (without saying who) He wasn’t very happy about this, as he feels settled with us and said that he did not want to be adopted.  However, his Social Worker had also been and seen myself and Kyle about this and we have said we would be more than happy to adopt Toby.  (Btw, we have also been approved to adopt him, which makes things easier too)

So, Sam and I borrowed a meeting room and had a word with him at Break Time. I have never seen him speechless before and then he started to cry with happiness. Social Services have said his adoption will take some time to complete, but it worth it. Our whole family behind us and I know we can make a difference to Toby’s life, as he has been  so ill for most of his life, due to kidney failure, (which lead to a transplant being needed) and other bits and bobs.

So Kyle and I are pleased to introduce Toby, who will be the newest of the Smith’s, once the adoption is finalized. Once again, Kyle and I are parents once again!

Meet Toby, the 9yo boy we are adopting

Once I finish work at 5, I am going home, getting changed and then I am taking the whole clan, (Smith and non Smith family) out for a celebratory meal. I have booked a table at TGI Friday’s in Newcastle! (Mum and her husband Steve are driving us there, so it means Kyle and I can have a drink… I think I need one after such a busy day like today!) Thankfully Steve has a People Carrier, which we often borrow, as it is large enough to get the whole family, plus Toby’s wheelchair in.

Thankfully, Kyle was also able to swap shifts, so he can come and celebrate. It means he has to do a waking night shift tomorrow night though, but he doesn’t mind that and actually enjoys working nights, as they are usually quite quiet!

Finally, I nipped to Argos this afternoon and I have got Toby a chain with the Hogwarts logo on the pendant. I then nipped to the Jeweler down the road and had a engraved on it. I know he’s going to love it and I will be giving it to him when we are at dinner. I had engraved on it:

To Toby, this is a fresh start in life for you and we will be behind you 100%. We love you very much Toby Smith, from your new Parents, Kyle and Sam. x

Lightning!

 

During the night, myself, Kyle and Jenny were kept busy with a thunderstorm, which battered County Durham! Kyle was at work and had to deal with a number of frightened boarders, while here at home, Jenny and I had to deal with a frightened Kyrlo and a frightened Mollie.  Both got lots of reassurance and cuddles, while at work, Kyle had to deal with several boarders who didn’t like the thunder.

The Met Office has issued more weather warnings for Thursday and Friday, so more thunder and lightning is expected.

If it’s anything like last night, The storm that is hitting the United Kingdom tomorrow and Friday should be spectacular

Toby’s Bathroom

 I have been working on getting a bathroom setup for Toby, who we foster. Toby has had a kidney transplant and needs help with his personal care. So I have been converting a box room, into a special bathroom, which also doubles as a extra bathroom for our kids.

First is the toilet. The toilet is a close coupled wc, which has been positioned so that either myself or Kyle can stand either side of the toilet. He also has a rail, so if he wants to stand and do the other end, he can hold the rail while one of us supports him to stand. We were going to put a folding rail in, but it would get in the way. (Especially Kyle is a larger lad) We decided not to install a loo roll holder, as the other boys don’t really use the loo and anyway, the roll holder would be too far from the wall.

At the side of the loo, is the draws with Toby’s supplies. (Catheter Bags, wipes, gloves, disposable aprons etc)

The sink has a mixer tap, which is the lever type. This makes it easier for Toby to wash his hands. There is now a shaver socket as well, which Toby can use when he is older, if he decides to dry shave. (The control switch for the shaver socket and the extractor fan are mounted above the outside of the door. The light switch is also outside the door. The walls are painted with white tiles that are half way up the wall. The top frieze has shell effects, which are cool.

The floor is cushioned Lino, which Toby chose. He chose Lino that looks like floor tiles and he chose the colour black, as it is his favorite.

The bathroom has spot lights, which are recessed in the ceiling and were a pain to install. (Our Electrician did that) So the bathroom is bright! The door opens outwards and also has a safety lock, which can be released with a 20 pence piece from outside.

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We’ve installed both a bath and a shower, as the kids like both. We can wheel in a hoist to get Toby in and out the bath and one of us can sit behind him in a little recess, behind the bath. There is a stabilizer underneath the bath, which controls the temperature of the water to the bath and the shower.

The shower is not a mixer shower connected to the taps on the bath. It has it’s own supply from under the bath and goes up a channel in the wall. The shower has a riser rail and is also thermostatic. The shower screen has toughened glass for safety. The bottom of the bath is also non slip for safety.

The bathroom is big enough, so we can wheel in the mobile hoist and using a sling, we can safely lift Toby in and out the bath, using a hoist. We were going to install a track hoist from his bedroom, across the hall and into the bathroom,  However, that would be major work and may of needed the joists strengthening. Not only is this costly, but Josh would have needed to move out his attic bedroom while we do the works. Plus we would of had to rip up his bedroom floor and made a massive mess.

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Over this weekend, our Electrician is installing an alarm cord by the bath and one by the toilet too. This project cost about £2,500 to do. I did most of the labour and out of that cost, it includes the labour and parts for the Electrician.

Now Toby has a adapted bathroom which meets his needs.  Kyle and I are proud of what we have built for Toby. He finally has a bathroom that was purpose built around his needs. We struggled to care for him in the current kids bathroom, as it is smaller and meant that it was harder to help him. For instance, we could not get either side of the toilet so we had to stand in front of him to lift him on and off the loo. The bath was not suitable for him, because we could not get the mobile hoist into the bathroom

Most of the time, he was getting strip washes in his bedroom, with a bath 2 – 3 times a week. During the day, he was having to use the downstairs toilet, (which he still uses) as it is adapted already.  At night, he was using a bottle or a commode. That was no quality of life for a 9 yo, so we decided the junk room needed to be converted to a bathroom. Now Toby can have baths safely, he no longer needs his bottle or the commode and has a bathroom that was designed with Toby in mind.

Fri Night Off

Most Fridays I run Karaoke and disco in the gym for the Boarders. However, tonight we are hosting a inter-school special needs basketball friendly in the gym, so no karaoke tonight.

Kyle is on late / sleep in at work and Jenny (our live in carer) is having a DVD night with our boys, so I have escaped and gone for a pint down my local.

My boss Karen walked in after I arrived and we are catching up with a bottle of white. (And why not, we both work very hard and we are having a laugh!)

Tommrow, I shall post photos of the bathroom I’ve built for our disabled foster soon. What used to be a  box room full of junk, is now a bright and spacious adapted bathroom!

 

 

 

Asbestos Removal is Finally Over!

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Finally there is light at the end of the tunnel, as phase one of the B Block refurbishment is almost complete, now that all the Asbestos has been removed from the building. Most rooms in B Block had some form of Asbestos, which has has taken just over 4 months to remove.

Sam Says Safety First!

Asbestos is not dangerous unless it is disturbed. In the workplace it is law that your employer has a Asbestos Register, which tells them where there may be Asbestos Containing Substances (ACM’s) and what type of Asbestos it is.

If you think you have accidentally disturbed Asbestos, immediately evacuate the area, then contact your Supervisor or Manager and ask them to check the Asbestos Register.

If it is asbestos you have accidentally disturbed, it may need to be “encapsulated” to make it safe, or it may require removal, by a company who specializes in asbestos removal.

The bottom line is: If you are not sure if there may be asbestos present, check the Asbestos Register, or speak to the Site Manager or who ever is in charge of your building.

The block can now be refurbished and the builders will be moving in on Wednesday, replacing all the electrics, plumbing, floors and ceilings. (Yup it needs mega gutting ans starting again) Hopefully by the end of the summer term, the work will be completed and we will be able to allow pupils into affected classrooms and use the link bridge between J and B Blocks.

In the summer hols, my army of helpers will be cleaning B Block and putting the rooms back together. (as well as Unit Deep Cleans) We do a deep clean on each unit within a day, which is remarkable. This includes steam cleaning all surfaces, including the carpets , removing rubbish, deep cleaning of lounges, offices, bathrooms, corridors, kitchens, changing of curtains (dirties go down to the laundry etc.)

Stay tuned for updates!

How to Empty Your School Indoor Pool

Sometimes it’s essential that you completely drain your school’s indoor pool. In our case, the pool needs to be drained so that workmen can erect scaffolding, to replace the swimming pool lighting. This guide is not the same as an outdoor pool winter closing down procedure, as we will be completely emptying the pool of water. Winterising involves blowing out the return pipes and emptying the sand filter. Neither are needed in this case.

The first job is to use your pool net to remove any objects that may be in the pool. I would also recommend using your pool vac, to clean the bottom of the pool before we empty it. Next, I removed the baskets from the pool skimmers. removing the baskets isn’t mandatory but I removed them anyway. Our next thing to do is to work in the plant room, to physically drain as much of the water as possible. This uses the floor drain in the deep end of the pool.

OK, now we are in the Plant Room, where all the tech that keeps the pool in order is kept. Most pool Plant Rooms look a bit like the image below. It is the beating heart of the pool, cleaning and  maintaining the water, 24 hours a day. The Plant Room usually has the pump, the large sand filters, the heater and alot of pipework.

Swimming Pool Plant Room

Our first job is to shut down the heater. Depending how your system heats the water will depend on how you shut your heating system off. Ours is gas, so as well as switching off the heating system, I also switched off the gas isolation cock as well. As we are working on a indoor pool, which won’t be empty for long, (about a week) there is no need to drain down the boiler. Now we can get the pool emptied.

Now go to your pump and at the side of it, you need to close the valve to the return pipe for the pool. You will also need to open the drain valve for the pool as well. In our case, the swimming pool drain goes into the main drains, so we do not need to connect a hose.

Your pump should have a setting called “drain”, you need to turn the controller on the pump to this position, to drain the pool. If your pump does not have a drain setting, switch it to “backwash” instead. I also opened the inspection chambers as well to make sure the pool is draining correctly. any water left in the return pipes will drain out into the pool, during this process. The water level should now of completely dropped, but there may be some residue of water around the drain. I use a hard brush to make this go down the drain, once the cover is removed. Now go back to your plant room, switch off the pump, close the drain cock. The pool return valve should remain closed, to prevent water from the filter entering the pool while work is carried out. I also Lockout-Tagout the main switch for the plant room, to prevent anyone switching on the power to the plant room, while the pool is empty.

Finally, I have put a sign on the doors to the pool area, saying that the pool is closed. As entry to the pool is via PACS System, I used a chain around the handles of the door and attached a padlock, to make sure no one can get in, while the pool is out of use.

And that’s it, one emptied pool. Once the work is completed, (in 1 – 2 weeks time) I will do a guide on filling and setting up the pool.

Laundry Machine Maintenance

So today is the the day that I put all the washing machines in the School Laundry on a self clean. Remember, our school washing machines are going 24 hours a day, Monday – Friday and every evening on weekends. The machines get their fare share of wear and tear, washing over Ten Thousand items a week! that’s is why I maintain the school washing machines on a monthly basis and the dryers on a weekly basis.  (Remember, our machines are large capacity commercial machines and not like the ones you have at home.

My monthly itinerary for laundry maintenance is as follows:

Washing Machines (monthly)

  • Run the machines on a 60°c cycle with Washing Machine Cleaner in the drum
  • Clean the filter and the propeller
  • Inspect and clean the seals around the door
  • Clean the Dosing System
  • Clean the drum, door and porthole

Tumble Dryer (weekly)

  • Empty the Lint Tray
  • Clean the outlet from the drum and the external outlet from the machines
  • Clean the drum, door and porthole

OK, lets crack on…

My first job is to switch off the pumps behind the machines. (So it doesn’t dose laundry detergent and Conditioner) Then I put Miele Dishwasher & Washing Machines Cleaner into the drum. (It’s a powder so it is quite easy to use.) Finally, I put the machines onto a 60°c cycle and leave it to it.

Meanwhile, I turn my attention to the dryers. They also must be maintained weekly, to prevent a buildup of fluff, that can cause a fire. To do this, I remove the side panel and pull out the fittings the lint traps sit in. Once it is removed, I can manually remove the fluff for disposal. I also shove the pole for the Henry in there and give the area round the outlet as well. I also clean the inside of the drum on each machine, using a cloth and a spray bottle of disinfectant.

Once the washing machines  have finished, (which is around 45 mins) I put a bowl in front of the machine and open the filter flap. (Be careful if you are cleaning the filter, as water will pour out! It is best to use a old washing up bowl for this job) It is amazing what gets clogged ion the filter, I have found gum, hair, paperclips and even a few 20p’s. (I put these into the School Charity Box) Opening the flap, lets loads of water out of the machine and is why I have a large bowl below it.

It’s easy to remove the filter, just twist and pull to release it from it’s compartment. To clean it, I take the filters to the sink in the laundry room and use a stiff brush and running water to clear the filters. Pushing my bowl aside, I then use my Mag-light to  inspect the drain pump propeller. Using a screwdriver, I check the blades can turn and that nothing behind it is blocking the pump. (By using a screwdriver to yank out any debris. Next, in between the rubber seals in the drum gets a clean with a old toothbrush and disinfectant. It also allows me to inspect the seals for signs of perishing.

Time to re-assemble… So first I push the filter back into it’s compartment and check it is in fully. (Push and twist, then close the flap) Once I have cleaned up, I inspect the pumps behind the washing machines; which dose and pump the detergent and conditioner into the machines. Remember: Safety First,  switch off the pumps first. I unscrew the front panel of the pumps and inspect the pump mechanisms. If they are clogged up, a can of compressed air and a screwdriver to remove the gunk. Finally, I give the motors a good lubricating with WD40, before replacing the cover and screws. 

Finally, after cleaning the glass and the aluminum doors, I attach a sticker which has the word “I am Clean” and the date the machine was cleaned.

It is a good idea to clean your machine every month. After a month, the machine will begin to smell and will make your clothes smell. Also it is essential to keep the lint tray clear on your dryer, otherwise; it may catch fire! The machines at school automatically switch themselves off when the lint tray is full and will not start until the lint tray is emptied. 

However, the dryers that you have in your home are not Commercial Tumble Dryers, like the ones we have at school. (We have 8 Commercial washing machines and 6 dryers) So your lint trap is usually inside the door. For your sake and your family’s sake, do not forget to check the lint trap; before you switch on your dryer on. (Kyle and I do every time we start the dryer) A fire can kill and cause severe damage, so before it is too late, check the lint trap!